The 2020 NBA Finals continue Friday, October 2, with Game 2 between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. This could turn out to be the key clash of this series, and you don’t want to miss it, so we’ve prepared all need-to-know tips and notes along with the best Heat versus Lakers betting pick.
The Lakers took the lead Wednesday, easily outlasting the Heat 116-98. Miami struggled with injuries and could be in big trouble Friday night, so let’s take a closer look.
The bookies listed the Lakers as firm 9.5-point favorites in Game 2, and LA is a -490 moneyline fave on BetDSI. The Heat are +395 underdogs to win straight up, while the totals are set at 216.5 points on BetOnline.
Miami will miss Goran Dragic (foot), and the 34-year-old guard is doubtful to return to the floor this postseason after suffering his injury in Game 1 against the Lakers. Bam Adebayo (shoulder, neck) couldn’t finish the opener, too, and he’s doubtful to play Friday night.
The Lakers, on the other side, are coming in full strength.
What’s at Stake?
The Heat cannot afford another loss, as just four teams in NBA history won the title after trailing 2-0 in the Finals. The 2006 Miami Heat did exactly that, but this Miami team is facing a much tougher rival, and the injury woes could make it really, really tough for Erik Spoelstra’s boys.
The Lakers have a nice chance to put huge pressure on their opponents. They are a very experienced bunch led by LeBron James, while the Heat have three rookies in their rotation.
The Heat started Game 1 well and built a 23-10 lead. However, that was all we saw from Miami, as the Lakers took over and hit nine treys in the last 16 minutes of the first half to grab a 65-48 lead at halftime.
The Lakers never looked back and led by as many as 32 points. LeBron James dictated the tempo and finished the game with 25 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists. He turned the ball over just a couple of times, torturing Miami’s defense all the way.
Anthony Davis marked his NBA Finals debut with 34 points, nine boards, and five dimes, while the Lakers limited their opponents on just 42.7% shooting from the field and 31.4% from beyond the arc.
As I’ve mentioned, the Heat lean on some rookies, and Duncan Robinson was scoreless in his NBA Finals debut, missing all his three shots. On the other hand, Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro both played well off the bench, combining for 32 points, nine boards, and five assists.
Still, some older guys with much more playoff experience were terrible Wednesday. Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder combined a -45 net rating, and they spent 25 minutes on the floor each.
Bam Adebayo had eight points and four boards before leaving the game in the third quarter. His eventual absence would be a huge blow for Miami in Game 2, as the Lakers posted 18 rebounds more than the Heat in the opener.
The Lakers are undefeated in five straight meetings with the Heat, going 3-2 against the spread in the process. Considering Miami’s injury problems, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers sweep the series.
However, that doesn’t mean the Heat won’t put on a fight and make Game 2 interesting to watch. This 9.5-point spread is a tricky one, and I don’t feel comfortable with it at all. If you want to tease one of the teams or buy a few points and take the Lakers at -6.5 or the Heat at +12.5, that’s a reasonable choice.
And if you love to follow the betting trends, the under has hit in five of the last six encounters between the Heat and Lakers including Wednesday’s Game 1. Betting on the under at the 219.5-point line is another interesting move. The Heat have to execute well offensively, but they desperately need to slow down the Lakers.